A Moving Experience
On November 3rd several FCHS members were involved in moving part of the collection that has been stored for several decades in a bay in one of the Republic City Shop sheds. The City maintenance crew needed room to park some of the City equipment and assisted in moving part of the collection to the basement of the new Stonerose building, the L. H. Mason Building and the Whittaker/Fletcher house across from the park.
The largest item in the collection, Anderson’s 1918 flour mill, with its associated seed sorters and other equipment, was not moved. That’s a major operation as the photograph below from the last time it was moved in the late 1990s illustrates.
The FCHS members who responded to the call for volunteers are: Ray Bilderback, Judy Johnson, Madilane Perry, Michael Sternberg, Sandy Tauber,
Debbie Thiele and Bart Wert. The City crew was also on deck and helped with loading. If I have forgotten anybody, I apologize, people were moving pretty fast.
If you missed this opportunity to see our impressive and long-stored collection and help move it, do not despair! There will be soon be opportunities for more “moving experiences”. These will take place when we move the part of the collection stored in the 2nd floor of the Republic Drug Store to the Whittaker/Fletcher building. We will also be moving the historic items from the Drug Store basement, recently donated by Rob Slagle to the basement of the new Stonerose building. Thank You Rob and Thank You Stonerose!
Agreement With the City
The FCHS is now operating under a formal agreement with the City of Republic. The agreement, modeled after the previous agreement between Stonerose and the City, is a first for the FCHS. Since its move to the Whittaker/Fletcher house across from the park about 30 years ago, it has been operating on the sort of “handshake” agreement common in Republic’s earlier history.
After the death of the last occupant, Ella Fletcher, her heirs, the Rochelle family, sold the house to the FCHS at a very reasonable price, to be used as a historical museum. The FCHS gave the property to the City to facilitate maintenance. The City, wanting to get the major tourist-related activities under one roof, moved the Eureka Arts organization and the Stonerose Fossil interpretive Center into the building.
Stonerose soon outgrew its one-room space. With funding from the State of Washington and the help of the Curlew Job Corps, Stonerose built an addition on the south end of the original house which it occupied until last year. Now that Stonerose has moved to its new location on Clark Ave., the FCHS will be using the whole building, including the addition, except for the addition’s basement, where the Stonerose fossil collection is stored.
The Annual Membership Meeting of the FCHS is usually held in March. Several important activities take place at this meeting. New Board members are elected from the membership and changes in the bylaws are reviewed. Due to the covid 19 pandemic our usual in-person meeting has been impossible for the past two years and it looks like that may be the case again this year. Members will be notified by email and surface mail in late February or early March when this year’s approach to holding a meeting in a pandemic has been decided. A notice will also appear in the Ferry County View. If you are an FCHS member and are interesting in helping the society’s continuing development as a community asset, please contact the board and volunteer to run for a board position. We need your input!
Last summer we were able to open the museum in the Whittaker/Fletcher house to the public four days a week from July 4th to Labor Day with appropriate covid precautions. If the public health situation allows it, we plan to open the museum again for most of the summer on a similar schedule. Last summer’s success was due to the hard works of volunteers Ray Bilderback, Sue Hageman, Greg Harvey, Jayne Jurgensen, Terri Lindsay, Madilane Perry and Crystal Strong. Thank You Volunteers! More volunteers will be needed for extended hours next summer. It’s an opportunity to serve the community, learn about local history and meet interesting people. Watch the next Nugget for details on how to sign up as a volunteer.
The J.W. and Elizabeth Slagle house has not been open to the public during the covid pandemic due to the difficulty of assuring the safety of groups of people in an intimate indoor setting. If the public health situation relaxes next summer we hope to once again give guided tours of the house. The Slagle house is a fascinating glimpse of life in one of the homes that produced Republic’s representatives of what has been called the “Greatest Generation”, but volunteer tour guides will be needed here too. Training will be provided for all volunteers.
Architect to Meet With Board
Ernie Robeson, the Spokane architect who is working on the plans for renovating the L.H. Mason Building, will meet with the FCHS Board and interested members in February. If you are an FCHS member and would like to be a member of the committee working with the architect please contact Board Secretary Travis Wellman at Stonerose, (509) 775-2295.